A Dream Only Delayed

photo : journalinquirer

 

The dream scenario for Andrew Haraghey would have been to leave the Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, with a medal draped around his neck.

For the moment, however, it’s a dream deferred.

“Obviously it’s a little bit of a bummer when you don’t get to the podium, but I’m happy with how I did,” said Haraghey, an Enfield native who finished 18th in the alpine skiing downhill and 24th in the alpine super-G event. “It was a good experience. It will help make me much faster and stronger for the games in four years.”

The 2018 Paralympic Games held this past March marked the first such competition for the 22-year-old Haraghey, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of 6. Haraghey has won several national level races, but the 2014 graduate of Fermi High longs to excel on the world stage. Haraghey races in the category for stand-up skiers.

“I haven’t won a World Cup race yet, but that’s a goal,” Haraghey said. “It’s still a work in progress.”

What Haraghey has accomplished has not gone unnoticed back home. In 2016, he received the Bob Casey Courage Award from the Connecticut Sports Writers’ Alliance.

Haraghey also has a lot of supporters in Colorado, where he is currently working out at the Olympic training center. Haraghey was one of seven men and four women named to the 2018-19 U.S, Paralympics Alpine Skiing National team. U.S. Paralympics is a division of the U.S. Olympic committee.

“Coming off the Pyeongchang Games, we’re thrilled about the talent we see with this core group of athletes returning to the national team,” Kevin Jardine, director of U.S. Paralympics Alpine Skiing and Snowboarding said. “This year will present a great opportunity to develop our program and work with our younger athletes who have the potential to make a major impact in 2022.”

Haraghey is part of that talented, young core. He certainly would love to make a seismic impact on the 2022 Paralympic Games, which will be held in Beijing, China.

“That’s the plan,” Haraghey replied when asked if he would work toward qualifying for the 2022 Games. “I’ve made real good progress toward that goal. I think it’s achievable. I’m putting the time and effort in now. I plan to compete in two or three World Cups and several national races.”

It was a hectic spring for Haraghey, who is a public health major at Westminster University in Salt Lake City, Utah. He’ll concentrate more on his studies as he enters his senior year. He hopes to work in the area of pharmacy or epidemiology when he graduates.

Even though he loves living in Colorado and Utah, Haraghey still longs for home.

“I’ll be coming home next week for the first time in 11 months,’’ Haraghey said. “My parents are still in Enfield, and things are settling down now that the games are over.

“There are definitely times that I miss home. It’s different in Utah. It’s a drier climate, especially in the summer, but you have good, warm people here who are awesome. But I definitely miss family, and it also seems you can never find clam chowder here the way it tastes back home.”

Four years from now, Haraghey hopes to get a taste of victory at the 2022 Paralympics.

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